- Cross River-based journalist Agba Jalingo was granted bail by a Federal High Court in Calabar on Thursday, February 13
- Jalingo, the publisher of CrossRiverWatch was detained for 174 days amid outrage from activists and human rights groups
- A coalition of civil society organisations is now calling for a review of the bail conditions
A coalition, Civil Society Groups for Governance (CSGGG), on Thursday, February 13, hailed the bail granted to journalist Agba Jalingo but faulted the conditions attached to the bail.
The president of CSGGG, Comrade Ogakwu Dominic, at a press briefing in Abuja, stated that the bail conditions are unrealistic and should be reviewed.
Comrade Dominic lamented that Jalingo as a journalist, can't afford the N10million bail slammed on him by the presiding judge at the Federal High Court Calabar.
The court presided over by Hon. Justice Shuaibu admitted Jalingo to bail with a bond of N10million with one surety in like sum. Details of the bail bond included a cash deposit of N700,000 also to be deposited with the court registry.
Jalingo, a Cross River-based journalist and publisher of CrossRiverWatch was detained for 174 days, sparking outrage among activists and human rights activists.
Comrade Dominic said: “We reject the strict bail conditions given to Jalingo. We believe that this is a ploy to further frustrated our comrade who has already spent 174 days in detention.
“We are calling for a review of the judgment and for it to be changed to suit current realities. Jalingo as a mere journalist cannot afford such bail conditions.
“We urge the judiciary not to be used as a tool for oppressors who are hell-bent on frustrating men and women of goodwill in the country.
“We reiterate our total support for Jalingo and we want to use this opportunity to warn that any attempt to silence him will be resisted.”
Recall that CSGGG, on Wednesday, January 28, issued a 21-day ultimatum to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state, to release Jalingo or risk heavy protest at Government House, Calabar. T
Comrade Dominic had warned that civil society organisations would embark on massive protests demanding Ayade’s resignation if Jalingo was not released.
“Ayade should consciously snap out of the current euphoria the governorship office brings because there is the fate awaiting him when he leaves office, as Nigeria cannot continue to harbour or make excuses for corrupt leaders.
“We do not know when it had become an offence in Nigeria for a citizen to demand accountability on how public funds are being dispensed by a public office holder, especially when the man at the helms of affairs is considered a professor,” he said at the briefing.
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